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October 21, 2021

California Rodeo Salinas returns this week with new ambassador, roping events

SALINAS — Emily Cullins of Perris, Calif., was named Miss California Rodeo Salinas 2021 and will reign over the annual California Rodeo Salinas, which returns this week from Sept. 23 to 26 at the Salinas Sports Complex.

Cullins, who has a passion for agriculture and the western lifestyle, will represent the California Rodeo Salinas as she travels to rodeos and other community events throughout the upcoming year.

Emily Cullins, Miss California Rodeo Salinas 2021 (Ronnie Esparza/Contributed)

This year’s Miss California Rodeo Salinas contest was faced with adversity. 

The contest, which is typically held in July and in conjunction with the Rodeo, was moved to September and to two weeks prior to the Rodeo. In addition, two contestants originally committed to compete, but Miss Livermore FFA Bridget Bowe was unable to participate. 

The Miss California Rodeo Salinas Committee worked quickly to develop a plan for modifying the contest and Cullins agreed to proceed as the sole entrant. 

“She traveled to Salinas with her horse and did outstanding this weekend, excelling in the horsemanship, personality and appearance, and scholarship evaluations,” Rodeo officials said.

Cullins received a $2,500 educational scholarship, a gold and silver trophy belt buckle, the use of a two-horse trailer for one year, along with many other gifts and the privilege of wearing the Miss California Rodeo Salinas gold and silver tiara.

Cullins, who entered the contest as Miss Rodeo Norco, resides in the southern California town of Perris. She is the daughter of Chris and Sarah Cullins and is currently in pursuit of an agricultural science degree, with plans to obtain a teaching credential to become a high school agriculture teacher.

RODEO RETURNS

The 2021 California Rodeo Salinas will host the ProRodeo Tour Finale for the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association this week. Salinas is the final stop on the circuit for the cowboys and cowgirls competing to earn a spot at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas in December.

There will be fewer total contestants, but the show will look mostly the same to fans for the first three Rodeo performances Sept. 23, 24 and 25. 

Championship Sunday on Sept. 26 will see the top eight contestants from the previous three days of competition compete in a shootout round.

“From there, the top four contestants will come back with a clean slate to try and edge out the competition with the fastest time or highest score and become the overall champion, taking home the prize money, championship buckles and trophy saddle,” Rodeo officials said.

New this year, the Women’s Breakaway Roping competition will take place in the arena for the first time ever. 

“The Women’s Breakaway Roping is a new event to the California Rodeo Salinas this year and will be included in each performance of the rodeo in the arena,” Rodeo officials said. “It’s fast, it’s exciting and it’s a big deal for women ropers to be able to compete and show their skills on the ProRodeo stage.”

In addition, a new track event is the first-ever Debbie Pedrazzi Memorial Cutting event on Thursday night, being held in memory of Rodeo President Dave Pedrazzi’s late wife.

The track will also feature the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girl Trick Riders along with rodeo entertainer Matt Merritt daily, in addition to the Chuck Wagons that will race in the arena.

Visit carodeo.com for a full event lineup and to learn about Covid-19 protocols for the events. There is also a clear bag policy this year, with no bags being checked on site.

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